The Mrs. and I plus three other friend couples poked around Williamette Valley last week. We hit up 5 vineyards and really enjoyed every aspect of the trip. In a good way, tourism has not completely hit this area and was surprised there wasn't endless manicured vineyards everywhere compared to parts of Cali. It was also nice to see how supportive all the different wineries were of each other. These are not perfect notes, but here goes:
Great tour of the wines and barrel samples with Dustin. He is a character and incredibly knowledgeable. Found the overall style very elegant and refined. Put another way, complete opposite to a full bodied Cali Pinot. The 2017s seemed particularly elegant and terroir driven compared to other vintages we tried (throughout the weekend this was a common theme). Kelley gets a lot of her grapes from Maresh Vineyard, which I had previously never tried. Favorite wine was the Red Barn Blocks. We were able to taste 2017 from bottle and then taste the two different components from barrel (difference was % of whole cluster). Based on samples, 2018 is going to be awesome!
Patricia Green Cellars
A fantastic experience here in their new tasting room that is right in front of their Estate vineyards. Got a chance to hang with fellow WB/winemaker Jim Anderson who was very hospitable (as was the rest of their team). So many great wines to try plus barrel samples. Standouts were the 2017/18 Freedom Hill wines, 2017 Notorious, and the 2018 barrel sample of their "Mysterious" wine. Once again, across the board found the style very appealing- lots of red fruits and so many of the wines had an amazing bouquet.
Big Table Farm
Talk about turning a dream into a reality! Clare and Brian have done it! The whole experience was awesome except a bad limo driver getting lost. Clare was such a great host and just freakishly talented at many things including the incredible wine labels she draws- we went through some of their Chards, Pinots, and tasted their Washington Syrah. The Elusive Queen Chardonnay and Sandberg Pinot Noir were standouts at this tasting. Will be very exciting to see the next phase of their dream as they are about to plant their own estate vineyard.
We were accidentally double booked with another bigger group which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we get both Erica and Ken, another amazing set of entrepreneurs/owners, to lead the tasting. They are incredibly passionate, smart, and make incredible wines. Across the board, their Chards are the best I have had anywhere in North America and suspect they will age really well. Not sure how Ken does it, the acid profile of their Chards is remarkable. Standouts were the 2017 X-Novo, Seven Springs, and Justice Chards. The Dubay Pinot 2017 was also a wine I had never tried and thought was a great QPR.
Just a stones throw away from Walter Scott. The setting for their tasting room(s) is pretty spectacular. Sound like a broken record, but another amazing visit given such great hospitality and a super lineup of wines. Started with their rose Pinot which is so easy to drink and delicious. We then sat down and got a chance to taste wines from 2011-17. On the white side, their High Wire Chard was one of the wines of the weekend. On the Pinot side, it was fun to taste 2016 next to 2017 for some single vineyard wines like Casteel. Once again, 2016 came across riper and little hotter compared to the more refined 2017.
Jory and Recipe were great for dinner.
Red Hills Market is a really fun casual lunch spot and best to hit on a weekday given crowds. Sandwiches were memorable.
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Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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